Sunday, February 22, 2015

Seattle Schools This Week

Many interesting meetings this week.

First, Open Enrollment starts tomorrow and, to note, you can register your child on the weekends.

Second, there will be a Technology Vision Town Hall nearly every night this week.  I can't attend all of them but do ask about student data privacy.  Ask how you, as a parent,
  • can know what on-line activities your child's teacher signs your student up for in the classroom, 
  • how to know who the district is sharing data with and if you can opt-out,
  • what updates there are on the data breach at Roosevelt (where the Sped guardian was sent all that data).  
You might also ask about the costs to the district and where the money is coming from.

NORTHEAST REGION: Monday, Feb. 23 at Eckstein Middle School cafeteria (Interpretation in Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese)

CENTRAL REGION: Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Washington Middle School cafeteria (Interpretation in Tagalog, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese)

SOUTHEAST REGION: Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Rainier Beach High School cafeteria (Interpretation in Tagalog, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese)

NORTHWEST REGION: Thursday, Feb. 26 at Ingraham High School cafeteria (Translation in Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese)

WEST SEATTLE REGION: Monday March 2 at West Seattle High School cafeteria (Interpretation in Tagalog, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese)

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. so that attendees can browse sample results from the Tech Summit. The structured meeting will begin at 6 to 8 p.m. The more input we have from across the district, the more we can assure that we have a vision that meets the needs of all Seattle Public Schools students.

Supervised children's activities will be provided. Translation services available.

Work Sessions

Wednesday,  Feb. 25th - Work Session on BTA IV/Assessments AND Executive Session on evaluating a complaint against a public employee.   Starts at 4:30 pm with the Executive Session starting around 7:30 pm. 

BTA IV is the next capital levy to come up (Feb. 2016).  Now this is supposed to be the workhorse maintenance levy but, over the years, has pretty much become the de facto kitchen sink levy for the district.   This one would have been no exception except that the district didn't win the Federal Reserve building (the district wanted to put something like $50M on BTA IV to revamp that building).  However, I suspect there will lot of pre-k dollars in there.  I hope not but that's what I think will happen. 

The Assessments part of the work session is quite vague.  They want to establish an "assessment framework", establish its value, explain how it closes the opportunity gap and then some talk about the "Smarter Balanced summative." 

I'm thinking that the Executive Session might be able Ron English, the head of Legal.

Friday, Feb. 27th - Work Session on the Seattle Preschool Program AND Executive Session on "Potential Litigation."  Starts at 4:00 pm with the Executive Session starting at 5 pm.

A bit unusual for a work session to be on a Friday but I expect that is for the suits from downtown.


mirmac1 said...

BTAs are now about creating Murray's PreK spaces. How else does one accept the district's rationalization that BTA III $$$ should go towards creating PreK space when we have so much MORE pressing needs?? On this red herring we see staff dredge up 2009 promises to create these spaces. Who the hell downtown in 2009 knew the pickle we would be in now? Well, if they had listened then they would have no excuse but for their selective hearing.

So those of you who would love proper playspaces for our multitude of K-5 or improve kitchen spaces for proper lunch and recess times - tough!

Anonymous said...



BTA III planning began in 2009, under Maria Goodloe-Johnson. She closed schools - genius! - so in that in her capital levy planning, she ended up having to allocate money to reopen 4 schools (McDonald, Sandpoint, Viewlands, Ranier View), among other things. The initial planning for BTA III indicated $420 million was needed to deal with the backlog of urgent maintenance issues and other pressing technology and academics needs. "Public engagement" process whittled that down to $270M. That figure for the prosed BTA III levy was pegged to a shopping list that was Board approved. Murray was not Mayor back in 2010. For whatever reason, 4 schools did get listed in that heavily scrutinized list to get dollars for early learning centers (Dearborne Park, Gartzert, Kimball, and Muir).

Are you saying BTA III money is being diverted away from the original Board and voter approved list into additional preschool capital improvements, presumably at expense of doing the other prioritized and approved work items listed?

Please, say more?

There was no 'slop' or contingency in BTA III. There were a lot of items I find wasteful non-priorities, or 'nice to haves', but those still went forward.

Is the District diddling with any BTA III underspend? I understood that underspend was due to construction not being as expensive (thank you, recession), and that those 'found dollars' were used to bootstrap BEX IV projects.

I will be intrigued to learn more.



mirmac1 said...

Kimball and Muir are getting their 2009 PreK spaces. Wonder when DP will get theirs. Meanwhile there is no money for a proper playspace for SpEd preschoolers isolated out at Old Van Asselt. BTA funds can pay for text books, yet seems there's never money for replacing our 20 year old science and history curricula. Finally, where is the attention of central staff on the impending capacity blow out for MS and HS?

As for construction being "less expensive"; not the way SPS pays for it.

Anonymous said...

So how do we get the letter of SES, the approved tutoring providers for the NCLB tutoring that we qualify for?

Do our local tutoring agencies know to apply to be on the district list? Has anyone notified them. Do they need to send a letter to the district?


Melissa Westbrook said...

BTA III DID have several preschool projects so that was already happening. However they are all likely now for the City's plan and not any other (like HeadStart or the state's plan). The district gets to decide who gets what preschool room.

BUT, with space at a premium, to take space away from a school that could use it for K-5 strikes me as wrong but I think it will happen.

Yes, it is confusing how regular pre-K space competes with Sped pre-k.

Anonymous said...

Does the district have an online application/school choice process, or are we still downloading forms and mailing it to downtown? Thanks, it's been a while..


Laura said...

The new enrollment website is

you can email the choice form. If you have siblings at the choice school, know their student IDs


Anonymous said...

Andrew Morrison's murals at Wilson-Pacific in North Seattle were desecrated over the weekend. “We know who did it,” Morrison said. “He was stupid enough to write his own name.” Morrison started work on the murals in 2001, and the city agreed to preserve them intact two years ago as the school district built a new campus. ...


Not PolyAnna said...

Tim Burgess and Seattle's Mayor- Ed Murray passed a prek initiative this year. The district will be having a work session this Friday.

It is my hope that the board asks whether or not it is the intention of the city to partner with prek charter schools. If so, it would be possible for the city to place a charter school within SPS.

The City of Seattle has been giving levy funding to First Place Charter School. Charter schools are not entitled to these dollars and this subject has not received adequate attention.